Twelve new North Somerset businesses opened their doors and began trading in January creating 20 new jobs, with help from North Somerset Enterprise Agency.
Pet wear and accessories, educational workshops, baby and parenting classes, translation services, a pre-school and a building firm were just some of the enterprises to launch, with new business owners enjoying free business support and advice under The Enterprising West of England programme.
The programme helps new businesses to determine their needs and provides tailored support to kick-start business success.
North Somerset Council is one of four West of England councils to deliver the programme, using experienced business support specialist NSEA as its provider. It offers people with business ideas free and confidential one-to-one meetings with locally-based experienced business advisors, a wealth of information and advice and access to free or low-cost training.
The start-up and ongoing support provided can be instrumental in helping businesses survive their first year. In January 2017, NSEA helped 10 businesses launch: twelve months on, nine (90%) are still in business.
Meanwhile, of the 8 businesses that launched in January 2015 with NSEA’s support, five (62.5%) have survived their first three years in business – the period in which many businesses find they are unable to survive or the owner decides they don’t have what it takes to run a business.
Angela Hicks, Chief Executive of NSEA, says: “We are delighted to announce our first start-up figures for 2018. Behind each business is a dream or idea that someone has turned into reality. Our role is to help people start their businesses confidently, using our knowledge and experience to help them succeed.
“2018 has much to offer those wanting to be their own boss, with flexible working enabling people to start a business alongside the security of being employed, technology allowing us to connect with a potential worldwide audience of customers and gaps in the market waiting to be filled by those who have the vision to spot them.
“With opportunities come pitfalls however, so it is essential to prepare for the journey ahead. By delivering the Enterprising West of England programme for North Somerset Council we are proud to be helping to ensure that local people have all the advice and support they need on hand as their own business takes its first steps.”
Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council, says: “NSEA’s success rate to date on this programme is fantastic. As this element of the Enterprising West of England programme is part funded by North Somerset Council it is brilliant to see the agency achieving such promising results. We look forward to seeing more local businesses start up as the programme progresses through its remaining two years. Congratulations to Angela and her team.”
The Enterprising West of England project is receiving up to £1,919,166 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/European-growth-funding.